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As part of his exercise in stringing together sentences in a totally non-sequential, nonfactual, nonsensical way, Donald Trump spent a few moments in Phoenix bragging about clean coal.

“We've ended the war on beautiful, clean coal, and it's just been announced that a second, brand-new coal mine, where they're going to take out clean coal — meaning, they're taking out coal, they're going to clean it — is opening in the state of Pennsylvania,” Trump said, completely misrepresenting what clean coal is.

This paragraph was literally wedged between one on the Supreme Court and another on Confederate statues, so it’s not clear that Trump was doing more than running down his list of grievances. (It’s always Festivus for Trump.) But on the off chance anyone paid attention to the content of these sentences and didn’t just bask in the outrage … that’s not how it works.

Coal coming from a mine is not clean, though it’s often “cleaned.” Not by legions of workers armed with toothbrushes, as Trump’s words might imply, but by crushing the coal and running it through a “Preparation Plant” to reduce the amount of ash and sulfur. Only, what comes out the other end … is not clean coal.

The term clean coal is used for a series of technologies meant to reduce the carbon emissions of coal, usually by capturing the carbon dioxide produced from burning coal and either storing it underground or converting it to some other form. There’s no such thing as a clean coal mine. And actually, there’s no such thing as a clean coal power plant. Kemper, the first plant in the United States designed to carry out carbon capture, was switched to natural gas over the summer after the efforts to create clean coal technology turned into a $7 billion boondoggle. 

After years of delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns, Mississippi regulators on Wednesday called on Southern to work up a deal that would have the Kemper plant fueled only by gas. …

There is a Trump phrase that’s a perfect replacement for “clean coal.” It’s “fake news.”

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Tuesday night in Phoenix, Donald Trump put what really should be the final nail in the coffin of the beltway punditry's quaint belief that anytime the man reads off a teleprompter without foaming at the mouth that he's finally at the pivot, that he's becoming presidential. Case in point: the man threatened to shut down his own government if he doesn't get his border wall.

"If we have to close down our government, we're building that wall," he said. "We're going to have our wall. The American people voted for immigration control. We're going to get that wall."

So, yeah. That's not normal. Neither is the prolonged rant he spewed against the two Republican senators from his host state, one of whom just happens to be undergoing treatment for brain cancer at the moment. His rant on Sen. John McCain—the "one vote" that stood in his way on Obamacare repeal—segued into a full-on attack on the Senate that won't just give him everything he wants.

At another point, the president demanded again that the Senate ditch the legislative filibuster, complaining that the 60-vote threshold is impeding his agenda. (The Obamacare repeal legislation needed only 50 votes, though Trump noted there are other provisions that need 60 votes that he would like to enact.)

Intentional or not, the renewed call was a barb at McConnell, who has repeatedly said the Senate GOP has no appetite for scrapping the filibuster.

"For our friends in the Senate, oh boy. The Senate, we have to get rid of what's called the filibuster rule,” Trump said. “If we don't the Republicans will never get anything passed. Eight Democrats are controlling all of this legislation."

Oh, Politico. You think it wasn't intentional? You think Trump wasn't ratcheting up his feud with McConnell? This is going to continue as long as he doesn't get his way. He's promising it.


If Republican Senate doesn't get rid of the Filibuster Rule & go to a simple majority, which the Dems would do, they are just wasting time!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2017

After Tuesday night’s performance—highlighted by his attack on McCain—that’s not going to happen. 

Introducing Goulet Note Cards!

August 23rd, 2017 09:33 am
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Posted by Colin

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[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, gave an extraordinary interview to CNN’s Don Lemon after Donald Trump’s unhinged rally in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday night. In the plainest of terms, Clapper loudly questioned not only Trump’s fitness for office, but his motivation for being there.  

From CNN:

"I really question his ability to be -- his fitness to be -- in this office, and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it," Clapper told CNN's Don Lemon on "CNN Tonight." Hours after Trump delivered a defiant speech in Phoenix, Arizona, Clapper said he found the President's rally "downright scary and disturbing." Clapper denounced Trump's "behavior and divisiveness and complete intellectual, moral and ethical void." "How much longer does the country have to, to borrow a phrase, endure this nightmare?"

Clapper also called Trump’s unimpeded access to the nuclear codes, ‘pretty damn scary.’ 

How long does this country have to endure this nightmare? It has to be crystal clear to all, even Republican leadership, that this is not sustainable for another 3 ½ years. We are only 7 months into this nightmare! 

See the full, sobering interview below.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Do any two Republicans deserve each other more than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump? The two are now locked in a battle that apparently has devolved into complete non-communication, following "a profane shouting match" between the two. Fun times.

The relationship between President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises. […]

In a series of tweets this month, Mr. Trump criticized Mr. McConnell publicly, then berated him in a phone call that quickly devolved into a profane shouting match.

During the call, which Mr. Trump initiated on Aug. 9 from his New Jersey golf club, the president accused Mr. McConnell of bungling the health care issue. He was even more animated about what he intimated was the Senate leader’s refusal to protect him from investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to Republicans briefed on the conversation.

Mr. McConnell has fumed over Mr. Trump’s regular threats against fellow Republicans and criticism of Senate rules, and questioned Mr. Trump’s understanding of the presidency in a public speech. Mr. McConnell has made sharper comments in private, describing Mr. Trump as entirely unwilling to learn the basics of governing.

In offhand remarks, Mr. McConnell has expressed a sense of bewilderment about where Mr. Trump’s presidency may be headed, and has mused about whether Mr. Trump will be in a position to lead the Republican Party into next year’s elections and beyond, according to people who have spoken to him directly.

They both think the other is incompetent, and they are both probably right. In seven years, McConnell totally failed to come up with any kind of health care proposal that could win passage as an Affordable Care Act replacement. During the whole debacle, Trump remained uninformed, disconnected, and pretty much a liability every time he big-footed his way into the fight.  But it's not just about health care, though that's certainly the most visible and public fight and failure.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

On Tuesday evening, Donald Trump conducted a raucous, racist, hate-filled rally in which he played all his old favorites: attacking the media, maligning immigrants, and demeaning even members of his own party who dared cross him. Then he spiced up his usual stew by re-writing what he said about Charlottesville, and going all in on attacking a man fighting a desperate battle with brain cancer.

Trump’s attacks on the media included repeatedly telling the Phoenix crowd that the rally was not being televised. 

Oh, that is so funny. Look back there. The red lights. They are turning those live red lights off fast, they are turning those lights off fast. Pres. Trump: Like CNN. CNN does not want their bowling viewership's to see what I'm saying tonight, I can tell you that. 

It was a statement you could watch … on CNN. Though Trump probably wished that no one was watching, as he proceeded to retell the events surrounding Charlottesville, including the victim—Donald Trump. In Trump’s revised history, he never made his “both sides” statement immediately following the murder of Heather Heyer, never spent a a press Q & A sessions defending white supremacists, but was just picked on by the unfair press. Trump? Trump never made any mistake. “The words were perfect,” he said.

Trump’s very-recent-history revisions were further blurred when he described the people who committed violence at Charlottesville as “thugs” then repeatedly used the same term to describe protesters who showed up at his rallies.  Trump raged on, and on, and on to accomplish what CNN’s Don Lemon refereed to as 

A total eclipse of the facts.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard.

Leading Off

AK-Gov: After keeping us guessing all year, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and his lieutenant governor, Byron Mallot, announced on Monday that they'd seek re-election, and will once again run on an independent ticket. Three years ago, Walker initially sought to challenge then-Gov. Sean Parnell in the Republican primary but changed gears and decided to campaign as an independent. Mallot was the Democratic nominee for governor, but polling indicated that he and Walker were splitting the vote and would allow Parnell to win with relative ease.

Campaign Action

So in a rare—and ultimately successful—gambit, Mallot dropped his bid and joined Walker as his running-mate. The state Democratic Party formally backed the twosome, and with no actual Democratic candidate on the ballot, Walker defeated Parnell 48-46. To repeat the feat, Walker and Mallot will almost certainly need Democrats to stand down once again, but it's not clear whether that will happen.

The executive director of the state party offered some mild praise for both men but declined to endorse them in the wake of their announcement, and it's still possible someone will file to run as a Democrat. The biggest name out there belongs to former Sen. Mark Begich, who hasn't ruled out the race, and local news station KTUU adds that state Sen. Bill Wielechowski could go for it if Begich declines.

If someone does claim the Democratic nomination, it's hard to see how Walker can prevail again, especially in a state as red as Alaska, though at least this time he would have the advantage of incumbency. However, it's possible that this could all be a bit of kabuki: In order to win, Walker needs the votes of a considerable number of right-leaning independents and Republicans (and his ability to win them over is why Mallot joined his ticket rather than the other way around), so it may be that both he and the Democrats want to keep each other at arm's distance for as long as possible.

Republicans, meanwhile, have yet to field a single candidate, though state Sen. Mike Dunleavy filed to create an exploratory committee last month, and several others are considering. One such potential candidate, former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman, now says he won't decide until after Labor Day, but the rest of the maybes haven't set any timetables.

Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

August 23rd, 2017 05:16 am
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Headlines You Won’t Read Today

Trump goes 24 hrs without defending white supremacists

Caligraphist runs out of room while listing Paul Ryan's achievements as House Speaker on grain of rice

Eclipse viewers agree: “Meh.”

Republicans more fired up about midterms than Democrats

So noted.

World better place without Dick Gregory in it

Middle child gets all the attention

Tucker Carlson makes valid point

Taliban frightened of Trump Afghanistan war plan

Big Ben Bongs

Kos finally deletes ErrinF's fucking account

Melania cleans up the internet

Majority of Americans agree: summer going by too slowly

Donald Trump breaks the one-hundred lie barrier

That last one, of course, is totally wacky. Trump has not lied one hundred times since he became president. He’s actually lied a thousand times.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Daily Kos Radio is ALL-NEW at 9 AM ET!

August 23rd, 2017 05:01 am
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One last pre-recorded show, before we return LIVE!

The exciting conclusion of the story of the “alt-right’s” money man, and more examination of their origin story, plus a look ahead at what their rise might mean, in practical terms, for the future of the Gop, and that rockin’ two-party system we’ve got going for ourselves.

Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET!

Hello. Do you think the world has gone crazy? Well, so do we. That’s why we get up early each weekday morning to say so on Daily Kos Radio.

There’s no better way to start the day than by commiserating with Daily Kos editors David Waldman, Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, and even Armando.

Wait! We can prove it! Take our latest show for a FREE test drive. Then, after you decide you love it so much you can’t live without it, click on the links below the player to contribute and help sustain the progressive podcast that kept people sane, even on The Day After: Nov. 9, 2016! Now that’s value!

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David Waldman remains in awe hangover after experiencing both the moon and the sun right over his head at the same time, but he does hope to return to live KITM’s this Thursday! Unfortunately, Steve Bannon and the Alt-Right continue to be relevant topics: Steve Bannon is back baby! Charlottesville allowed Steve to “pursue other interests”. Now he’s ready to bring us more of… whatever he brought us in 2016. Like any of the Right, governing was just not his thing. So, back to wingnut welfare. William Regnery II has doled out cash to racists for decades, and is finally seeing some returns. Know your Alt-Right catchphrases! "Duke Lacrosse” brought us Richard Spencer, Stephen Miller and just about every creepy jerk right now.

(Thanks again to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more!)

Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.

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Different and interesting interpretations of where Trump stands with the public.

Matthew Yglesias/Vox:

After embracing orthodox Republicanism on all fronts, what’s the point of Trump?

Almost all of this was always half-baked and some of it was directly contradicted by other aspects of his 2016 campaign. But as of Election Day 2016 it was certainly possible to squint at Trump and see the outlines of an ideological shakeup — a figure who would attempt to represent the interests of the Republican Party’s electoral base of older-skewing, less-educated white people rather than hew strictly to the reanimated corpse of Reaganism like the vast majority of the party’s elected officials.

But with Steve Bannon fired and Breitbart.com left to snipe from the sidelines as Trump embraces a South Asia strategy pushed by Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, and the uniformed military one must ask: What is the point?

Steve Kornacki/MSNBC:

Polls Show Trump Cratering? Not So Fast

As narratives of collapse take shape around Trump’s presidency now, the campaign should at least serve as a cautionary tale. It may look like his base is crumbling — and maybe it is — or maybe we’re living through a new version of what happened last year.

Consider the newest round of NBC polling from the three states that put Trump over the top. In Michigan, his approval rating is 36 percent, and in both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin it’s 33 percent. This looks brutal and it feeds the perception that Trump’s base is abandoning him. But is it different from his standing in these states during the campaign?

Obviously, he wasn’t president then, so there are no job approval ratings for comparison. But we can look at Trump’s personal popularity, and as Ryan Struyk shows, it turns out it’s pretty much the same now as it was last fall.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

You don’t have to be a fan of Don Lemon or CNN to approve of the television host’s assesment of tonight’s white supremacy Trump rally in Phoenix, Arizona.

Lemon: What do you say to that? I’m just going to speak from the heart here. What we have witnessed was a total eclipse of the facts.

Don Lemon could have gotten up and retired right there. But he didn’t and he drove to the hole again and again and dunked the truth ball on Donald’s stupid head over and over again.

Lemon: Someone who came out onto the stage and lied to the American people. And left things out that he said, in an attempt to rewrite history. Especially when it comes to Charlottesville. 

He’s unhinged. It’s embarrassing—and I don’t mean for us in the media because he went after us—but for the country. This is who we elected for the President of the United States. A man who is so petty he has to go after anyone he deems to be his enemy, like an imaginary friend of a six-year-old. His speech was without thought. It was without reason. It was devoid of facts. It was devoid of wisdom. There was no gravitas. There was no sanity there. He was like a child blaming a sibling on something else. He did it, I didn’t do it.

He certainly opened up the race wound from Charlottesville. A man who is clearly wounded by the rational people leaving him in droves, meaning those business people and the people in Washington who are now questioning his fitness for office and whether he is stable. A man backed into a corner by circumstances beyond his control, and beyond his understanding. 

That’s the truth. If you watch that speech as an American, you had to be thinking what in the world is going on? This is the person we elected as the President of the United States? This petty? This small? The person who is supposed to pull the country together? It certainly didn’t happen there.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Donald Trump went to Phoenix Tuesday to remind America of one thing first and foremost—he’s a total ass, or as former GOP Congressman David Jolly put it:


Trump slights McCain in AZ the week he's undergoing cancer treatment.Can't spell POTUS without P.O.S.

— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) August 23, 2017

Trump groused repeatedly about being “one vote… ONE VOTE away” from passing health care repeal and then congratulated himself for not mentioning “any names” (as in, John McCain, who’s currently undergoing chemotherapy). He decided to revisit Charlottesville because he hadn’t mangled the response badly enough already, cherrypicking his own quotes and railing against the “dishonest media” for not giving him the credit he deserved. He promised that “one way or the other, we're gonna get that wall”—because that’s clearly a primary concern for Americans right now. But those are just a few choice points from the hour-plus rant he reveled in delivering. Here’s some notable reactions:


Trump, who "wrote" Art of the Deal, now complaining that Obama was able to pass the ACA and he failed to repeal it—He's still angry at Obama

— Brian Tashman (@briantashman) August 23, 2017


Trying to be fair here. Honest question. He's insane, right?

— andy lassner (@andylassner) August 23, 2017


If you thought you wouldn't live long enough to hear a president mock a guy going thru chemo for brain cancer, congratulations. You made it.

— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) August 23, 2017


A man with a little boy on his shoulders is screaming "rat!" at reporters in the press risers

— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) August 23, 2017
[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Donald Trump held a campaign rally—that's right, a campaign rally—in Phoenix, Arizona tonight. Because it came directly on the heels of Trump being grumpily contained to a teleprompter for yesterday's "Afghanistan plan" speech, it was almost inevitable that he'd compensate by going off the rails.

But an unapologetically fascist hate campaign against our nation’s free press? That was not expected. But what is what Trump delivered, calling out CNN, ABC, and George Stephanopoulos, among others by name while condemning the media gathered to cover him as responsible for the nation’s woes.

He repeatedly insisted to the crowd that the television cameras were being turned off as he spoke, despite that being demonstrably untrue. It was, as extended, furious rant, insane.

Oh, that is so funny. Look back there. The red lights. They are turning those live red lights off fast, they are turning those lights off fast. Pres. Trump: Like CNN. CNN does not want their bowling viewership's to see what I'm saying tonight, I can tell you that. I mean, the advantage I have -- the advantage I have -- is that we do have a big boys. A big boys. Twitter and social media, if I did not have social media would not be able to get the word out. I promise I probably would not be standing here right now, right? [...]

He led his rally into extended shouts against the press outlets gathered to report on his speech. Repeatedly.

These are sick people. You know that the I do not understand? You would think -- you would think they would want to make our country great again. In, I honest honestly do not believe they did. I believe they don't. If you want to discover the story of the division in our country, look no further than the fake news and the crooked media.

[...] Those cameras are going off, oh well. Why don't you just pulled them up and take them home? Oh, those cameras are going off. Well. While -- that is one thing, they are very nervous to have this on live television because this cannot happen. [...]

Not only does the media give it a platform to hate groups, but the media turns a blind eye to the gang violence on our streets, the failures of our public schools, the destruction of our wealth and at the hands of the terrible, terrible trade deals made by politicians that should've never been allowed to be politicians.

He is either demonstrably mentally ill, or he is worse. Dear God, Republican Party ... how long are you going to let this madness go on.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

And there is it:


"I'll make a prediction. I think [Sheriff Joe's] going to be just fine," @POTUS says. #PhoenixRally

— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) August 23, 2017


So @POTUS suggests he will pardon @RealSheriffJoe, but not tonight. Doesn't want to cause controversy. #PhoenixRally

— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) August 23, 2017

Yes, a convicted criminal who openly defied a federal judge’s order to stop racially profiling brown drivers in Maricopa County while leaving hundreds of sex crimes uninvestigated. And a convicted criminal who hasn’t shown one bit of remorse for it. 

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Donald Trump's campaign rally in Phoenix, because that's what the shitshow is, has been off the rails from word one out of the compulsive liar and megalomaniac's would-be totalitarian mouth. He's got an overriding obsession though, and that's the size of his crowd—all his crowds—and how tiny the opposition is. He's got a great, huge crowd he keeps saying, that the fake media—CNN—won't show.

Here's that crowd.


Here's an angle from the opposite side of the room. #TrumpinPhx pic.twitter.com/xg0G34eJ7r

— David Catanese (@davecatanese) August 23, 2017

And the protestors? Tiny crowd, tiny. Here's that crowd.


Trump says there are no protesters outside so MSNBC split screens to large crowd of protesters. pic.twitter.com/a0RcdbW1HM

— John Aravosis (@aravosis) August 23, 2017

Here’s another. 


Views from the roof of the parking lot across from Phoenix convention center. People packed on every floor. #trumprally protest pic.twitter.com/pHMc1rbAik

— Saba Hamedy (@saba_h) August 23, 2017

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Steven Mnuchin is the secretary of the United States Treasury, serving under unpopular alleged billionaire Donald Trump. Mnuchin’s wife is exactly what you would imagine—sort of horrible. She closed down her Instagram account after attacking someone for pointing out how lacking in class and intelligence and reality it was to brag about her wealth. 

If you haven’t followed this story—lucky you—the long and short of it is, Louise Linton, wife of Treasury secretary and fraudclosure bankster Mnuchin, posted an image of her stepping off an official U.S. government plane on a trip to Kentucky to her public Instagram account. In the image, she name-checked all of the super expensive designer crap she was wearing and carrying. It was … insensitive and lacking, to say the least. Well, the Working Families Party decided to give Linton a breakdown of how she’s paid for all of those nice things.


Louise Linton, wife of foreclosure bankster @stevenmnuchin1 tagged brands on her Instagram. We tagged how she bought them. pic.twitter.com/57PTHkzc7k

— WorkingFamiliesParty (@WorkingFamilies) August 22, 2017

Nothing more to add.

[syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed

Posted by Fred Clark

Alas, the evangelicals of the faculty lounge cannot speak for most white evangelicals. Even worse, the faculty lounge cannot speak to most white evangelicals. That's not something they've generally been able or allowed to do.

(no subject)

August 22nd, 2017 09:32 pm
meganbmoore: (when princesses grow fangs)
[personal profile] meganbmoore posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
 57 x Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny
42 x Painted Skin: The Resurrection
63 x Memories of the Sword

@ my DW

(no subject)

August 22nd, 2017 09:32 pm
meganbmoore: (when princesses grow fangs)
[personal profile] meganbmoore posting in [community profile] icons
 57 x Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny
42 x Painted Skin: The Resurrection
63 x Memories of the Sword

@ my DW
chasingdemons: (Editor)
[personal profile] chasingdemons posting in [community profile] su_herald
BUFFY: Let's just pretend for a second that... Angel somehow found his way back to Sunnydale. What would he be like?
GILES: I really can't say. From what is known about that dimension, i- it would suggest a world of... brutal torment. And time moves quite differently there, so...
BUFFY: I remember. So he would've been down there for hundreds of years.
BUFFY: Of torture.
GILES: It would take someone of extraordinary... will and character to survive that and, uh, retain any semblance of self. Most likely, he'd be, be a monster.
BUFFY: A lost cause.

~~Beauty & the Beasts (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3, Episode 4)~~

[Drabbles & Short Fiction]
[Chaptered Fiction]
[Fandom Discussion]

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There will be a lot of revisionist history among Republicans leading up to the 2018 election, but none will be as remarkable as the spin Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) is trying to make out of the mess he created for himself over the Affordable Care Act. Remember Heller's agonizing path to a bad Trumpcare vote? First he was opposed to any repeal of Medicaid expansion, then he was okay with a slow phase-out. Then he was opposed again, and then he was humiliated on national television by Trump and took two really stupid votes to both advance and pass a repeal. But Heller insists he wasn't all over the place, blowing with the political winds in his votes. No, he was doing strategery, he says. He was, he says, actually saving Medicaid. Single-handedly.

In a stunning interview that aired Sunday morning on the program, “Politics Now,” Sen. Dean Heller took credit for saving the state’s Medicaid expansion and called the latest proposal he signed onto with Sens Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) “the drain the swamp” health-care bill. […]

“I did exactly what I said I was going to do, and that was to make sure that middle-class families and low-income families had access to health care,” Heller said. “And a lot of them had access through Medicaid and Medicaid expansion and that’s why I did that press conference with the governor (in June) and said I would not support any legislation that took health care away….I made that promise and kept that commitment.” […]

“We threw votes out there to send messages to the leadership,” he said. “I was even criticized for an amendment on the floor that only got 10 votes. The purpose of those 10 votes was to send a message to our leadership that they didn’t have the votes necessary in order to include Medicaid (in the repeal) and we sent the exact message we wanted to. Like I said, I know we were criticized because people don’t understand the process. But the bottom line is, the bottom line is, in the skinny bill, Medicaid expansion, these low-income families had the health care that they need.”

For those of you fellow slack-jawed observers who do not understand the Senate process as well as Heller, perhaps this will help: He is seriously arguing that a non-binding resolution would have prevented the Senate from approving a conference report, which is what the skinny repeal was designed to result in, if it contained Medicaid cuts?

Please give $1 to each of our Senate funds so that Republican senators—particularly Dean Heller—know there's a price to pay for their votes to repeal health care.

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Half a year after an inauguration, it may seem odd to be thinking about the next presidential election, but then, everything about Donald Trump’s occupancy of the White House has been odd. While the media seems insistent on finding Trump holdouts who would not leave his cause if he ate their baby on live TV, the truth poll numbers have been on a steady decline. Barack Obama was considered vulnerable in 2012 when his Gallup approval rating averaged 48 percent. And in fact, Obama lost all states where his approval rating was below 46 percent at the time of the election. 

But Donald Trump’s score with Gallup is currently an anemic 34 percent. That’s even lower than the 38 percent Trump held at the end of July—a value that was already below that of any other president since Gallup started keeping track. The last time Gallup ran state level ratings, Trump held a rating higher than 46 percent in only 21 states—which didn’t include Pennsylvania (43), Michigan (43), or Wisconsin (42). It didn’t even include Iowa, Georgia, Arizona, Florida, or Texas.  

Trump’s decline has generated speculation that he might discover that by 2020 America had been made fully great, leaving the stage to someone else. Or Republicans might decide that they’d had enough, and tackle Trump in the primaries. In any case, Democrats are starting to look at Republican potentials not named Donald.

The effort, which began in late spring, covers Vice President Mike Pence, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, among others. …

For an opposition party to be scrutinizing potential intraparty reelection rivals to an incumbent president just seven months into his term is highly unusual. 

Pence moved quickly in July to quash stories that sprang up after he started his own PAC. But … he started his own PAC.

Operatives on both sides of the aisle preparing for 2020 have also started speculating about the intentions of Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Marco Rubio of Florida, as well as former Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

For trope_bingo

August 22nd, 2017 08:14 pm
ladyofleithian: (come into the light)
[personal profile] ladyofleithian
Title: Holding On

Summary: The death of General Leia Organa.

Prompt: First Time/Last Time

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Fic under cut. )
[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Donald Trump laid out nothing of value in his sham Afghanistan speech Monday other than a general commitment to stay militarily engaged there with zero details about that engagement and even less of a diplomatic strategy. But details weren't necessary for Steve Bannon and his Breitbart crew to know that Trump had once again bailed on all his campaign pledges to ditch U.S. involvement abroad, and they weren't particularly soothed by his new "principled realism" approach. Breitbart pounced, saying the speech "confirmed the fears of many on the right that without a strong nationalist voice in the West Wing, the president would revert to the same old fare that Americans had voted to reject in November." Politico writes:

“Trump’s ‘America First’ Base Unhappy with Flip-Flop Afghanistan Speech,” blared one headline.

The lead of the main story contained a series of subtle digs: “President Trump unveiled his plan for Afghanistan after seven months of deliberation Monday evening, announcing tweaks around the edges of the current strategy instead of a different approach,” read the lead sentence of Breitbart’s wrap on the speech. [...]

One piece was headlined “His McMaster’s voice: Is Trump’s Afghanistan policy different from Obama?” It amounted to a two-fer: Ripping national security adviser H.R. McMaster — a former Bannon rival — and likening Trump’s decisions to those of Obama.

Another article drilled down on similarities between the two presidents’ approaches in Afghanistan, contending that Trump “specifically echoed his predecessor’s 2009 speech, after acknowledging that the war had gone on too long.”

Ouch ... being likened to Obama surely makes Trump's skin crawl.

But more importantly, get ready for more of this, only nastier. This was just Breitbart’s first shot across the bow at Trump, but given how thin Trump's legislative wins are shaping up to be, foreign policy will likely swell in importance over his term. That does not bode well for his Breitbart coverage. And Trump, with his freakishly thin skin, won't be able to resist taking swipes at Bannon and his team of writers. What comes around, goes around … only to come around again.

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Campaign Action

The list of of Donald Trump appointments with closer-than-usual relationships to white supremacists, anti-Semites, and the other dregs of the far right just keeps getting bigger.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump appointed Teresa Manning, a leading anti-abortion activist, to be a deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. The pick was controversial because Manning, formerly a legislative analyst at the conservative Family Research Council and a lobbyist for the National Right to Life Committee, would be in charge of family planning policy, even though she has questioned the efficacy of contraception in preventing pregnancy and has said government should not play a role in family planning. But there was one item in her résumé that did not receive attention: She had once praised a defender of Holocaust deniers.

It's saying something when being a member of a SPLC-identified hate group isn't enough to immediately disqualify a person, but nope, she manages to ratchet it up another notch.

Her links to the Holocaust-denying right are direct. In her anti-abortion role she edited a 2003 book of essays by fellow anti-abortion activists. One of those essays was by Joe Sobran, who joined her onstage for a promotional event for the book. That Joe Sobran was at the time well known throughout conservatism for his anti-Semitic writings and promotion of Holocaust deniers was, apparently, not a deal breaker for Manning and her "pro-life" audience.

In her flattering introduction of Sobran, Manning neglected to mention that a few months earlier, in June 2002, he was a speaker at the 14th annual convention of the Institute for Historical Review. This is how the Southern Poverty Law Center has described the group: “Founded in 1978 by Willis Carto, a longtime anti-Semite, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) is a pseudo-academic organization that claims to seek ‘truth and accuracy in history,’ but whose real purpose is to promote Holocaust denial and defend Nazism.”

That there are still, in this millennium, people in America obsessed with defending the Nazis is remarkable. It’s also remarkable how Trump's team just happens to keep appointing figures from the far-right with so many of the same marks on their resumes. Go figure, and so on.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

The odds that Donald Trump will sincerely run for re-election when the time comes (assuming he has not quit the office either of his own volition or under duress) continue to hover slightly above zero. But selling himself to small crowds of rich people and large crowds of poorer people is all the man has ever done in his life, so it wasn't much of a surprise when he smoothly rolled over his 2016 campaign into a 2020 campaign in his very first days in office. Six months later, he's already planning out his "fundraising tours."

Trump is mapping out a fall fundraising tour that is expected to fill his campaign bank account with tens of millions of dollars. His team has tracked dozens of potential Democratic rivals, a list of names that ranges from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. And his administration has received political advice from a top campaign pollster from his 2016 campaign, who has urged the president to keep up his attacks on the mainstream media. [...]

Trump’s 2020 focus will take on greater clarity this fall. He is slated to visit a handful of states, including New York and Texas, for fundraisers that will benefit a joint account for Trump's reelection and the RNC, according to two people familiar with the plans. He is also expected to travel to Nevada, a swing state also filled with powerful Republican donors.

Donald Trump is all about asking people for money. He's all about bragging to willing crowds about his supposed prowess in take-your-pick. Declaring someone your opponent and then spending weeks, months, or years lambasting them at every opportunity? It's as close as the man has to an actual hobby. No, campaigning is the one thing in life that seems to soothe the man's ego: if his staff wasn't constantly arranging new rallies for the man to go to he'd probably curl up under the Oval Office desk and refuse to come out again.

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You don't necessarily think "innovation" when you hear "Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee," but they've got a new online ad strategy that is definitely a new thing in political advertising.

The spot, which will target voters in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Instead of a traditional thirty-second clip, it optimizes viewer experiences by breaking the advertisement into six-second increments. And instead of being presented all at once on a single website, those six-second increments follow a user as he or she travels around the Internet. In other words, viewers will see the first part of the ad as they begin their day at thedailybeast.com. They will then see a second portion of the ad as they move on to a different website; and then a third portion of the ad as they go to yet another page.

This less disruptive format has been deployed by content providers seeking to grab viewer's attention in an age of Snapchat and short attention spans. But a DSCC official says this is the first time this cycle that they or any other committee has utilized the format. Google helped the committee utilize its technology, the official said.

The ad is a simulated text conversation between a child and their mother, starting with kind of a grabby question: "How do I know if I need stitches?" Subsequent texts tell the story of a family that doesn't have insurance and a really expensive emergency room visit, and toss in a picture of whichever Republican senator is being targeted in the ad, with a headline from a local paper talking about the health care vote they just cast.

The ad maybe needs another screen explaining that this isn't the outcome, but rather the Republicans’ ongoing vision. No, they didn't pass repeal and didn't successfully take anyone's insurance away. But they sure as hell want to. Watch the innovative ad below.

Please give $1 to each of our Senate funds so that Republican senators—particularly Dean Heller—know there's a price to pay for their votes to repeal health care.

[ SECRET POST #3884 ]

August 22nd, 2017 07:44 pm
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[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3884 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 34 secrets from Secret Submission Post #555.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
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As Donald Trump's incomprehensible incompetence continues to dominate the 24-hour news cycle at a stunning clip, New York magazine has a lengthy meditation on the catastrophic damage Ben Carson is doing to public housing as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Bottom line: Not only does Carson have no idea what he's doing, he also doesn't give two licks about keeping our nation's most vulnerable citizens housed. Alec MacGillis writes:

After word emerged in early March that the White House was considering cutting as much as $6 billion from the department, Carson had sent a rare email to HUD employees assuring them that this was just a preliminary figure. But as it turned out, Carson, as a relative political outsider lacking strong connections to the administration, was out of the loop: The final proposal crafted by Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney called for cutting closer to $7 billion, 15 percent of its total budget. Participants in the Section 8 voucher program would need to pay at least 17 percent more of their income toward rent, and there’d likely be a couple hundred thousand fewer vouchers nationwide (and 13,000 fewer in New York City). Capital funding for public housing would be slashed by a whopping 68 percent — this, after years of cuts that, in New York alone, had left public-housing projects with rampant mold, broken elevators, and faulty boilers.

“By the time I left, almost 90 percent of our budget was to help people stay in their homes,” [former Obama Housing Sec.] Shaun Donovan told me. “So when you have a 15 percent cut to that budget, by definition you’re going to be throwing people out of their homes. You’re literally taking vouchers away from families, you’re literally shutting down public housing, because it can’t be maintained anymore.” [...]

But if Carson was troubled by the disembowelment of his department, he showed no sign of it. Even before the final numbers were out, he had assured housing advocates that cuts would be made up for by money dedicated to housing in the big infrastructure bill Trump was promising — a notion that his fellow Republican Kemp, among others, found far-fetched. “I’m not sure he understood how that would work,” Kemp told me. “He was probably repeating what had been told to him.” Then, a day after the budget was released, Carson downplayed the importance of programs for the poor in a radio interview with Armstrong Williams, saying that poverty was largely a “state of mind.” This, more than anything, seemed to be a crystallization of the Carson philosophy of HUD: that privation would be solved by the power of positive thinking, that his own extraordinary rise was scalable and could be replicated millions of times over.

Just another narcissist with a soft spot for portraits of himself ruining a significant part of the nation’s social safety net. If our country survives Trump and his team of well-coiffed ghouls, we'll spend years trying to rebuild the decimated government they leave behind.

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Donald Trump is completely unfit to be president of the United States. Though he’s given us a plethora of evidence in the last seven months to corroborate this fact, the past week alone has served to remove any doubt. In a country which has a history of serious injustice and racial division and with race relations worsening by the day, Trump solidified his fate as Divider-In-Chief when he announced his support for the “very fine” white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville. At this point, all rational-thinking minorities, people of color and human beings in general should want nothing to do with him. Which is why it’s both bizarre and astoundingly tone deaf that the administration thinks that now is the time to have a White House sponsored conference for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). But that’s exactly what they are doing. 

A White House official said that a Trump administration-backed conference for historically black colleges and universities will go ahead as planned next month. 

In recent days, a Democratic lawmaker and prominent nonprofit donor to the schools recommended to the White House that the National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week Conference be postponed because of concerns “related to recent national events.” [...]

Johnny C. Taylor and Rep. Alma Adams, a North Carolina Democrat, were among the voices who tried to get the White House to halt the planning. Taylor, the outgoing president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, wrote a letter to [Omarosa Manigault-Newman, assistant to the president and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison] dated Aug. 18, saying that there was a “pretty strong consensus” in the HBCU leadership community that the White House should hold off until good faith measures — such as appointing an executive director and advisory board — showed that the White House had a “commitment to advancing the HBCU agenda.”

It’s pretty ridiculous to insist on holding a conference for a group of people that you’ve not only done absolutely nothing for, despite promises to the contrary, but whose livelihood and well-being you actively work against. Nevertheless, the administration persists. 

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Breaking the sound barrier took years of diligent engineering and cost the lives of skilled pilots. But Donald Trump has sailed through the 1,000 documented lies barrier with the ease of … Donald Trump lying, actually. There is nothing easier or more dependable. The Washington Post’s list of Trump’s false and misleading statements now stands at 1,057.

That’s an impressive number by any standard. In fact, we are a little late with this update because we have simply been overwhelmed keeping track of the deluge of claims made by the president in the later part of July. Things slowed down during the president’s “working vacation,” so we have finally been able to catch up.

Yes, while on his vacation, Trump concentrated his efforts on equating Nazis with people who fight Nazis, giving those tasked with counting his ordinary lies a chance to breathe. 

While Trump lies about … everything, there are some topics that get special attention.

Trump’s most repeated claim, uttered 50 times, was some variation of the statement that the Affordable Care Act is dying and “essentially dead.” The Congressional Budget Office has said that the Obamacare exchanges, despite well-documented issues, are not imploding and are expected to remain stable for the foreseeable future.

The next biggest category of Trump lie? Claims that he secured new business investments or job increases that either didn’t happen or were planned before the election.

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In anticipation of Donald Trump's rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Tuesday night, pundits have been relentlessly asking: Which Donald Trump will show up—the aide-scripted teleprompter guy, or the crazy unplugged guy who just can’t help but play one America against another America?

But perhaps the more interesting point isn't so much a matter of how Trump plays when he gets there—it's that he's not even welcome to begin with. Shortly after Trump delivered his repulsive defense of white supremacists and neo-Nazi violence last Tuesday, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton began publicly urging Trump to postpone tonight's rally, along with a cohort of state lawmakers. They also objected to Trump’s assertion that was he considering pardoning former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of illegally targeting immigrants during immigration patrols.  

Downtown Phoenix’s congressional representative, Ruben Gallego, was part of a group of three Arizona House Democrats that wrote an open letter to Mr. Trump on Thursday asking him not to pardon Mr. Arpaio, citing the former sheriff’s “brazen abuse of the public trust.”

“He’s basically trying again to feed more meat to the alt-right,” Mr. Gallego said Friday on CNN of Mr. Trump’s visit. “I just don’t think it’s a coincidence.”

The lawmakers’ sentiments are totally understandable in the wake of remarks from Trump last week that, far from soothing the country, only stoked more division and violence.

But their rejection of a visit from a sitting president is also pretty unprecedented. As controversial as President Obama was at certain times in his presidency, it’s hard to recall a single time when a contingent of major political figures asked him to reconsider a visit on account of his presence potentially fostering violence. Protests of any sitting president are common, even expected. But the call from a big-city politician, regardless of party, to the leader of our nation to exhibit the "sound judgment" not to show up is highly unusual territory for us. Even Arizona's Republican governor, who plans to greet Trump at the tarmac, is steering clear of his event.

Naturally, Trump's choice is an abject lesson in poor judgment.

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Campaign Action

As charities (finally) cancel their fundraising events at Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf resort, it's not just his self-proclaimed "Winter White House” that’s feeling the heat. Trump's Bedminster resort, the New Jersey golf course where he'd been vacationing these last few weeks while the White House was being renovated, has lost a client, too. The local United Way chapter has canceled their own event at the golf resort, and they're not shy about saying why.

“United Ways in every community denounce racism, bigotry and prejudice in all forms. We strongly reject the divisive worldview of groups like the white nationalists and neo-Nazis that incited the violence in Charlottesville, VA,” United Ways of Monmouth and Ocean Counties said in a Facebook post.

In the meantime, the exodus at Mar-a-Lago continues.

The Unicorn Children's Foundation, based in Boca Raton, said it would move a planned “Fashion Show Luncheon” to another venue, but did not say which one. The group explained its decision with a statement saying “We are not a political organization and do not condone hatred or bullying on any level.”

“Due to the political turbulence associated with this choice of venue it would be a disservice to our supporters and our children to hold our event at Mar-a-Lago,” said Sharon Alexander, the group's chief executive, in the statement.

It turns out that coming to the defense of torch-wielding white supremacists and people chanting Nazi slogans is, in fact, a bad business decision. Business schools and corporate leaders should probably write that down somewhere and make a note of it, because it really feels like something that should be added to the textbooks.

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Since the nation is finally talking about white supremacy after the events in Charlottesville, now is a good time to talk about all the ways that white supremacy is manifested. In order to do that, there are some hard, painful truths that need to accompany this discussion—for example, the fact that it took an extreme demonstration of violence in which a white woman was killed before many in this country started to actually believe that white supremacy wasn’t something that was just a fiction or outdated concept invented by angry people of color.

Another realization that must come with this moment of reckoning is that white supremacy is not just a man’s game. White women have long played a role in maintaining racial superiority in this country, despite protestations to the contrary. Heather Hayer’s death was tragic. She is now one of countless people who have been murdered in the fight against hate. But we need to understand that reactions to her death are complex. A lot of white progressives have been lauding Heather’s death as an example of how white allies are showing up for racial justice. While this is true, it is also true that black and brown death at the hands of white supremacy does not receive the same kind of widespread attention that Heather’s death has received. It is also true that Heather’s death doesn’t erase the history of white women’s participation in white supremacy. This conversation must be met with a both/and approach.

As evidence of the above point, this weekend, two white teenagers visited the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC, wearing Make America Great Again hats. They were not warmly received. And they took to social media to tell their story.

Two teenagers stirred up controversy at Howard University — a historically black college, or HBCU — on Saturday when they arrived at the campus wearing Make America Great Again paraphernalia, drawing a sharp response from the college's students and prompting a Twitter thread from the university.

The high school students said Howard students approached them and criticized their Trump gear as they waited in line at the cafeteria — with one Howard student grabbing their hats and another saying "Fuck y'all." [...]

The two white students, from Union City High School in Pennsylvania, told BuzzFeed News they were among a group of 30 teenagers on an organized trip to see sites in Washington, DC, where the college is based. They arrived at the campus around lunchtime, and headed for the cafeteria with their school chaperones.

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At his CNN-broadcasted town hall Monday night, House Speaker Paul Ryan did it again. He lied. Again. "The status quo is not an option. Obamacare is not working," he said. "We've got dozens of counties around America that have zero insurers left." If by "dozens" he means the number of people who live in a county without an Obamacare insurer, he might be correct. There are dozens—334 enrollees to be exact—living in Paulding County, Ohio—the only county in America as of today without an insurer on its exchange for 2018.

On Monday, Larry Levitt from Kaiser Family Foundations tweeted out this time-lapse map, showing the number of counties without an insurer on the exchanges shrink. Yesterday it was down to two and today, just one.


Watch as the number of counties at risk of having no marketplace insurers grew...then shrunk...to two counties with 381 enrollees. pic.twitter.com/qsXV5iYxd1

— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) August 21, 2017

Paulding County, the last, lone county without an Obamacare plan in the United States voted for Trump 72-23. Trump voters are the only ones that matter to Paul Ryan, so I guess Paulding  County counts a few extra dozens of times in his head. Or he's just a massive liar.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Today’s comic by Jen Sorensen is Finally seeing the (torch) light:

Missouri stays execution Marcellus Williams tonight until inquiry looks at DNA test showing likely innocence. Williams’ attorneys had appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for a new hearing or the commutation of his sentence to life in prison. They also asked Republican Gov. Eric Greitens for clemency. Greitens said he would appoint a board to look into the DNA testing and other factors:

Attorney Kent Gipson contends that DNA testing conducted in December using techniques that were not available at the time of the killing showed DNA found on the knife matches an unknown man, but not Williams. He also cited previous DNA testing of hairs found from Gayle’s shirt and fingernails that also excluded Williams, and said footprints at the scene did not match Williams. [...]

Gipson said Williams’ conviction was based on the testimony of two convicted felons who were out for a $10,000 reward. One was Williams’ former girlfriend and the other was his former cellmate.

China puts floating solar farm above coal mine: The mine was closed and groundwater flooded it. So the city decided to use the space rather than abandon it as a source of electricity. The new solar farm generates 40 megawatts, enough to power about 15,000 homes. That is more than six times the second biggest active floating farm, which has a capacity of 6.3 megawatts. There are several advantages to floating solar farms, not the least of which is that being on the water cools down solar cells, making them more productive. 

An Activists’ Calendar of Resistance EventsIndivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups

Liberty University graduates return their diplomas because of LU President Jerry Falwell’s support for Trump. In a letter last week, several graduates said the university’s alignment with Trump has for them been a source of “shame and anger.” This heightened after Falwell’s saying he was “so proud” of Trump and his “bold, truthful” response to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville: 

Falwell appeared on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning to reiterate his support for the president.

“President Donald Trump does not have a racist bone in his body. I know him well,” Falwell said. “He loves all people. He’s worked so hard to help minorities in the inner cities. … He’s doing all the right things to help the people that are in need, the minorities.”

German police seize thousands of tablets of the party drug ecstasy in the shape of Trump’s face.

Calling his actions “despicable,” a Catholic priest has temporarily quit his post after revealing he was in the Ku Klux Klan year ago:

A Catholic priest in Arlington, Va., is temporarily stepping down after revealing he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and burned crosses more than 40 years ago before becoming a clergy member.

The Rev. William Aitcheson wrote an editorial that was published Monday in the Arlington Catholic Herald describing himself as “an impressionable young man” when he became a member of the hate group. He wrote that images from the deadly white supremacist and white nationalist rally in Charlottesville “brought back memories of a bleak period in my life that I would have preferred to forget.”

California blows apart Trump claim that environmental regulation stifles economic growth:

The California economy is thriving, according to a new report released Monday — and that’s despite the state instituting relatively restrictive environmental rules.

According to the assessment, after the passage of California’s trademark — and controversial — 2006 cap-and-trade law, statewide per capita emissions fell by 12 percent. For every fossil fuel job in the state, California has 8.5 in solar and wind energy. (Compare that to the 2.5-to-1 ratio for the nation, overall.) Most notably, the report finds the state’s per-capita GDP grew by almost double the national average since cap-and-trade passed. In fact, the state is now the most energy-productive economy in the world — meaning it uses the least amount of energy to gain each dollar of GDP.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Still more to talk about on Steve Bannon’s “exit,” and what it means, if anything. And in advance of Trump’s next rally, we dive into the archives for more theories and thinking about the “origin story” of the so-called “alt-right” and their instant “celebs.”

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“There absolutely are people the president should pardon in Arizona,” writes Noemi Romero, an undocumented immigrant and leader with local immigrant rights group Puente Arizona, “but it’s not the recently convicted Sheriff in Maricopa County. It’s victims of Sheriff Arpaio’s racial profiling like me who are still paying the price.”

In 2013, Romero was one of the countless Maricopa County immigrants to have been swept up in one of Joe Arpaio’s racist workplace raids. Despite the fact that she was not even a target, the raid nearly led to her deportation, and today Romero has a criminal record because she had been using her mother’s ID in order to be able to work and raise the nearly $500 she needed for her Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application.

Because of the conviction, Romero is no longer eligible for the DACA program she had been working so hard to apply for. Meanwhile, Donald Trump may possibly pardon Arpaio for his criminal conviction for disobeying a federal judge’s order, something he not only has shown no remorse for, but a criminal act he continues to stand by. Romero writes that it’s not Arpaio who deserves the pardon—it’s the hard-working immigrants he terrorized that deserve a second chance:

When President Trump says Arpaio is a “great American patriot” who has “done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration,” he’s talking about what he’s done to people like me. He’s talking about what he’s done to families like Katherine Figueroa who at age 9 watched her own parents arrested in a raid on a carwash on live television. He’s talking about Marty Atencio who Arpaio’s Sheriffs beat to death in a jail cell. Just like when he says there are “very fine people on both sides” of the protests in Charlottesville, he’s talking about nazis.

The previous Department of Justice said that Arpaio is the “most egregious case of racial profiling” investigators had ever witnessed. A judge found Arpaio guilty of continuing that profiling in contempt of court orders to stop. And he’s actually guilty of much worse.

Pardoning Arpaio would be a presidential endorsement of his racism and his flaunting of the law in pursuit of it. Whereas pardoning Arpaio’s victims would actually mean having a heart and correcting a wrong.

“Because of a local group, Puente Arizona, and the work of my community I’m still here,” writes Romero in her Daily Kos diary, which is a must-read here. “But because of Arpaio’s profiling and campaign against our families I have this extra mark against me now...where is my pardon?

Post-eclipse complaining

August 22nd, 2017 01:54 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
So, prior to the eclipse there were FAQs and news reports about people who didn't want to go out on the day of the eclipse - even before it started! - for fear that they'd go blind, or didn't want to walk their dog because the dog might go blind (not knowing not to look at the sky on eclipse day, of course) or not letting the kids out at all during recess because, you got it, they might freeze in place, stare at the sun, and go blind.

And then Trump looked at the sun without glasses. And everybody is throwing fits about what an idiot he is. I commented on one article that no, it's not likely you'll go blind if you just glance at the sun for a second*, and one person replied "but this isn't the sun, it's the eclipse!" like that's a winning argument. I mentioned to another, who claimed you couldn't see anything without the glasses until totality anyway that I'd been staring at the cloud cover impatiently before the peak, and when the clouds parted I'd gotten an unprotected glimpse of the sun and yes, I could see the bite of it - and that person went "Well, you do permanent damage at 20 seconds, so you might've been lucky". How long do they imagine it takes to see the sun when the clouds break and then look down again?

I think I've figured this out.

The rule is "You should not stare at the sun, even during an eclipse". This is a sensible rule that nobody has ever needed to tell anybody over the age of, say, six weeks. We don't stare at the sun. Even infants know better - if the sun shines in your eyes, you squint, put your hand up, and turn away. Aniamls are even smarter! No matter what happens, they don't need to be told.

But humans think we're cleverer than animals, and during an eclipse we sometimes break that rule and look at the sun because it's cool. And because the light seems dimmer, we can look longer. But it's not really dimmer - it's just as bright, it's just that some of it is blocked. So for the past year, we've had it drummed into our heads that you shouldn't look at the eclipse without glasses. Consequently, many people have internalized the rule as "You shouldn't stare at the sun, especially during an eclipse". But the sun isn't any more dangerous then. It's only our behavior that changes!

If you look for up to five seconds, you're probably fine, just like when you turn a corner and find yourself driving toward the sun. (Or look up at a flock of birds just as the clouds part and find the sun glaring in your eyes, or wake up with the sun in your eyes.) According to the only study on the subject, you're not likely to have visible damage unless you look for 15 seconds or longer... and even then, most patients improved with time.

So don't stare at the sun, but if you did catch a glimpse, whether on purpose or not, it's probably no more harmful than when you catch a glimpse of the sun on regular days.

(As for Trump, this was a dumb move, but not because of the potential eye damage. It was a dumb move because everybody and their dog, literally, knows better but he still did it on national TV. Doofus. And if he's getting any flak from it he probably blames the aide for calling attention to his behavior rather than his own foolish decision to do something everybody knows, from the very day they're born, not to do.)

* Turns out it was more like 30 seconds in his case, which is really way too long. Not that I give a fuck what that person does to his eyes.
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As corporate giants like Facebook decide it's bad business, in 2017, to be seen as tolerant of hate speech and racism, they've been banning the most well-known hate groups from their services. This makes sad racists sad.

Jared Taylor, head of the white nationalist publication American Renaissance, complained of the “terrible setback” imposed by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other large-scale tech companies in preventing leaders of his movement from reaching new audiences.

“It is a reversion to the pre-internet days when in order to really have access to the public you had to own a newspaper or a magazine or a television network or radio station,” he told TPM in a recent interview. “The internet has vastly democratized this process and made it possible for people not just like us but like Donald Trump to bypass the gatekeepers. What we are going back to is a kind of snuffing out of dissident views. It reminds me of the Soviet Union.”

If Facebook, YouTube, or a company like PayPal was a government service, he'd have a point and the sites would likely be obliged to permit Taylor's hateful rhetoric. But they ain't, and so they aren't obliged to be the spawning grounds of white supremacy and unapologetic fascism if they don't want to be. This is the "free market" nonsense that libertarians are always going on about, up until the exact moment when that market kicks them in the shins.

Peter Brimelow, founder of the site Virginia Dare, which features articles from white nationalist contributors, told TPM in an email last week that his site, which was booted from PayPal, was “earning significant income from Google Adsense [and] Amazon before they purged us.”

How one of the most infamous white nationalist sites on the internet managed to pull in ads from Google and Amazon to fund operations up until now is a good question.

Of all the threats to online white supremacy, however, it's probably the refusal of domain name companies to register their sites that's the most dangerous. Without domain names, the hate sites will be relegated to the deep web, unsearchable and largely undiscoverable to anyone who doesn't already know to look for them. Our nation's Citronella Nazis can always resort to Hitler-themed bake sales and lemonade stands to scrounge for the cash needed to fund their movements. Losing the ability to get their execrable drivel included in search results when new-to-the-net racist bastards are looking for a movement to join, however, won't be as easy to recover from.

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Excuse any typos—it’s hard to type while laughing this hard. Gizmodo has alerted us to the most hilarious and pathetic news of the day. Pro-Trump rallies have been canceled in 37 locations:

Pro-Trump rallies that were originally being planned for roughly 37 locations across the US have been canceled. The rallies, scheduled for September 9th, were being coordinated by ACT For America, a pro-Trump and anti-Muslim hate group best known for its “March Against Sharia” back in June. The group said it will instead hold online demonstrations.

ACT For America released a statement to Breitbart, America’s number 1 website for adult virgins, claiming that the cancellations were due to “the recent violence in America and in Europe.” ACT For America, which calls itself “the NRA of national security,” is now proclaiming Saturday, September 9th an online “Day of ACTion.” It’s not yet clear what the organization has planned, but it’s probably a safe bet that it will involve plenty of shitty memes.

Boston 2017. Wherever they go, we will be there peacefully resisting!

The hate-driven groups have apparently realized they are far, far outnumbered by the sane, decent members of our society and they are retreating to their safe spaces online, where they can whip each other up in a safer environment. Here’s the sad, sad statement by the organizers:

ACT for America is deeply saddened that in today’s divisive climate, citizens cannot peacefully express their opinion without risk of physical harm from terror groups domestic and international.

In recent weeks, extremist and radical organizations in the United States and abroad have overrun peaceful events in order to advance their own agendas, and in many cases, violence has been the result. Given the security issues of organizing public events, the responsible decision is to deny this opportunity to Neo-Nazis, Antifa, the KKK, and ISIS inspired individuals and groups. ACT for America’s membership is patriotic citizens whose only goal is to celebrate America’s values and peacefully express their views regarding national security.

Perhaps organizers saw what happened in Boston and realized their army of bots and small basket of deplorables simply aren’t up to facing off with the resistance. 

Campaign Action

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Posted by Colin

Fountain pen comparison, where the Nouveau Premiere faces off against the Collier.

We're back again with another exciting fountain pen showdown. It's Battle Edison here at Goulet Stadium, where the Nouveau Premiere faces off against the Collier. Edison certainly crafts some stunning pens with incredible care and it's hard to pick a favorite. In this face off, Lydia and Colin bring you their opinions on two of the most popular Edison models we carry here at Goulet. Which pen will battle its way to your heart & wishlist? Read on for the full breakdown & be sure to vote for your favorite at the bottom!

Edison Nouveau Premiere
Fountain pen comparison, where the Nouveau Premiere faces off against the Collier.
Edison Nouveau Premiere Caribbean Sea
Hey, friends! It's Lydia. I am excited to tell you why I believe the Nouveau Premiere is the Edison pen you must own. I used a Collier for a Monday Matchup last year and fell in love but the Nouveau Premiere actually ended up becoming the first Edison I bought for my personal collection. I could not get over the gorgeous coloration and how well balanced it felt in my hand. This pen model is an exclusive between Goulet Pens and Edison Pens and you can only pick up the Nouveau Premiere here from us. That is pretty special if you ask me! The Nouveau Premieres have a broad range of color options. In addition to the three regular edition colors we carry (currently that is Cherry Blossom, Cappuccino, and Caribbean Sea), we also have our seasonal edition pens. So four times a year, you have the chance to get a limited run pen that won't be available again after that season. I fell for this past spring's Seaglass and snagged one as soon as they went in stock. The depth of color in these resin bodied pens is out of this world and you could get lost in staring at them for far longer than you'll care to admit.

The "torpedoed" shape of the Nouveau Premiere can be a bit of a polarizing feature because of the pointed ends, but I feel it adds character. The pen is 12.4mm at its widest and tapers to symmetrical tips at both ends. It's very sleek and clean. The grip section is comfortably curved and sits nicely in just about every hand size. When I first got into fountain pens, I loved the large pens with the thicker grip sections, but I found that the Premiere has the goldilocks of grip diameters for me and it is the smoothest, most comfortable pen I own for long writing sessions. I love that the Premiere posts as well. I have larger hands so the added length when posted makes this pen perfectly balanced in my hand. The Edison steel nibs flow like butter, but the ink flow is not overwhelmingly juicy. I have heard great things about the gold nibs too, even though I haven't had a chance to try one yet. The steel nib is also just right for writing on most paper. My medium has never once given me any bleedthrough or feathering issues, even with a wet ink on cheap notebook paper.

To sum it up, the Nouveau Premiere is great because:
  • There's a huge variety of color choices. Between the three regular editions and the four yearly seasonal editions, you're sure to eventually find a color pattern you love
  • The swirled resin body is mesmerizing 
  • The pen shape is clean and symmetrically pleasing
  • Perfect curved grip section for comfortable writing
  • It posts! It is perfect balanced for posted of unposted writing
  • Smooth writing Edison steel or gold nibs
The Edison Nouveau Premiere is available for $149 at GouletPens.com. Check out our blog on how this pen came to be, as well as the advent of the seasonal editions!

Edison Collier
Fountain pen comparison, where the Nouveau Premiere faces off against the Collier.
Edison Collier Antique Marble
Colin here, bringing you my thoughts on the large and in-charge Edison Collier! This is actually the first Edison pen I've written with, and my wishlist has quickly filled up because of it. The nib is super smooth and there's some great color choices. It's hard to choose just one (though I'm leaning Burnished Gold)!

Beyond just the color of the pen itself, the Collier features gorgeous swirls of resin that has both depth & brilliance! I've found myself staring into these swirls multiple times since I started writing with it. Seriously, one of the prettiest pens we offer in my opinion.

The Collier is also one of the largest pens we offer, so you shouldn't lose track of it too easily. When capped, it's a tad bigger than the Monteverde Giant Sequoia and Conklin All American. It balances out the length by not being postable. This may be a dealbreaker for some, but I rarely (OK, never) post my pens, so the extra-length unposted is a welcomed addition. Also, despite the size, it's fairly lightweight at just 26g.

Lastly, this thing isn't going to come uncapped unless you want it to. No more inky disasters in the backpack or pants pocket because it takes at least 3 rotations to uncap this screw cap. I find that to be a major plus, a few extra rotations is worth the peace of mind of knowing how secure the cap is.

So to recap, the Collier is the winner in my book because:
  • Four great color options, something for everyone
  • Gorgeous resin swirled body
  • Large, but lightweight, great for long-writing sessions
  • Doesn't post, but really well-balanced because of it
  • Super secure cap
The Edison Collier fountain pen is available at GouletPens.com for $149. You can also check out Brian's Quick Look at the pen here.

Now it's your turn to weigh in! Do you prefer the Edison Nouveau Premiere or the Edison Collier?

Leave us a comment as well and let us know why you love this particular Edison fountain pen! We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Write on, 
Lydia & Colin
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When it comes to solving sensitive racial issues in our country, there's no more tried and true solution than invoking the "states' rights" rallying cry, in particular by southern supporters of discriminating against black Americans. Though he didn’t explicitly use the terms “states’ rights,” Mike Pence still clearly believes that philosophy is the wave of the future when it comes to racial issues in the 21st century, writes the AP.

Vice President Mike Pence says state and local authorities should make decisions about Confederate statues, and he calls himself “someone who believes in more monuments, not less monuments.”

As for the fate of Confederate statues at the U.S. Capitol, Pence says it’s up to states to pick the figures represented.

He tells “Fox & Friends” that “what we have to walk away from is a desire by some to erase parts of our history just in the name of some contemporary political cause.”

Definitely. Let's not let that passing fancy known as "racial justice" guide our actions. And by the way, no one is talking about trying to erase anything. What many people are proposing is moving the statues to museums where they can be put in proper context rather than simply glorifying soldiers who fought to advance the right of white Americans to enslave black Americans.

Pence may not have used the term "states' rights," but that's exactly what he's advocating for—it's a politician's ploy to get out of actually taking a moral stand on anything. The division of power between the states and our federal government has been a source of tension since our nation's founding. But here's a quick summation of how "states' rights"—a code word that is still invoked today—became a favorite cause of white southerners who opposed racial equity and the civil rights movement.

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What a coincidence—as Donald Trump prepares for his unwelcome visit to Phoenix, Arizona, tonight to possibly pardon convicted criminal Joe Arpaio for his crimes against brown Maricopa County residents, McClatchy reports on a Ivanka Trump/Jared Kushner-led immigration “deal” that would continue Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections for immigrant youth “in exchange for legislation that pays for a border wall and more detention facilities, curbs legal immigration and implements E-verify.” Here’s the thing, though: a deal is something that works out for both sides. This “deal” is bullshit.

Instead, this is nothing more than a nativist wish-list proposed by an anti-immigrant hate group with deep ties to white supremacists, and a “deal” that tries to use the lives of 800,000 immigrant youth who have called the U.S. their home as a bargaining chip in order to enact a racist, anti-immigrant agenda that will continue to terrorize immigrant families. Don’t be fooled—if White House officials like Ivanka and Jared want to treat Dreamers with “great heart” as Trump has previously said, they should just do it (and while we’re at it, maybe McClatchy can refrain from quoting not one, but two anti-immigrant groups like they offer any sort of substantive debate?). 

Cristina Jimenez, leader with immigrant youth organization United We Dream:

“My brother has DACA and my parents are undocumented. I ask Members of Congress and all people to think of their own families before considering this latest “deal” from Trump to use my brother’s welfare to put a hit out on my parents. Would you cut a deal which would result in your own mother being chased down and locked into a detention camp to be tormented and abused? The deal is morally wrong and must be rejected.

“We heard the hate-filled chants in Charlottesville calling for a country without people of color, without immigrants. This is no coincidence. The Trump team is pushing a white nationalist agenda to remove immigrants from society, lock us into detention camps and force us out of the country.”

“Immigrant youth will not be used as a bargaining chip for a white supremacist deal to terrorize our parents, families and friends,” Jimenez said. “We renew our call on Trump, General Kelly and those with a conscience at the White House to leave the DACA program alone and we renew our call on Attorney General Paxton to drop his lawsuit threat.”

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House Speaker Paul Ryan says popular vote loser Donald Trump "messed up" by calling white supremacists "very fine people," but he's ready to move on to the stuff that matters, like tax cuts. He's not going to be supporting a move to censure Trump for cozying up to Nazis, because he has other stuff to do.

Ryan made the comments during a town hall Monday night organized by CNN in his Wisconsin congressional district, after being asked whether he would back the resolution that comes following Trump’s comments about the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The question came from Rabbi Dena Feingold, the sister of former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, who grew up in the same city as Ryan.

Ryan said censuring Trump would be “counterproductive.”

“If we descend this issue into some partisan hack-fest, into some bickering against each other and demean it down into some political food fight, what good does that do to unify this country?” Ryan said, adding that it would be the “worst thing we could do.”

Because having the U.S. Congress explicitly and officially condemn murderous racism would just be a "partisan hack-fest." Sure. But I guess Ryan does know all about being a partisan hack. Ryan did, however, finally move a little bit beyond his regular bland expression of concern about Trump's comments, saying "I do believe that he messed up in his comments on Tuesday when it sounded like a moral equivocation or at the very least moral ambiguity when we need extreme moral clarity."

But no worries, Trump fixed all that in the speech on Afghanistan he gave just before Ryan's town hall, says Ryan. The heavily scripted speech Trump read off of his teleprompter, with no ad-libs, "cleared that up. I think it was important that he did that tonight." That'll last all of 24 hours, if that. Trump's appearance in Phoenix Tuesday is practically designed bring on another Trumpian debacle of racism.

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Here we go … again. Republicans are hyper-obsessed with women’s bodies and our reproductive choices and they don’t hesitate to let the whole world know it through asinine statements and backward legislation. Unfortunately, they’ve been somewhat successful at limiting our reproductive rights at local levels. In Texas, with their latest law which bans insurance coverage for abortions with no exceptions, they’ve managed to raise their hatred of women to an art form. Now it looks like the GOP is continuing its assault on family planning with an upcoming rule that would eliminate free birth control through insurance providers. 

The Trump administration is preparing to roll back the Obama-era free birth control mandate, a move legal groups say would be unconstitutional and subject to a court challenge.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the rule will be very similar to a draft version leaked in May, which would vastly expand the number and types of businesses eligible for an exemption from Obamacare’s rule requiring all employers to provide insurance coverage of all contraceptive methods without co-pays. If enacted as drafted, it would allow not only religious groups but thousands of non-profits and for-profit businesses to leave birth control out of their employees’ insurance altogether.

Why employers are interested in the sex lives and procreation of their employees in the first place is beyond comprehension. If anything, you’d think they welcome covering this kind of medication. If women are not forced to manage unwanted pregnancies, they are happier, healthier, and more productive. This rule is discriminatory against women. And it doesn’t just impact them but also their entire families because it means dealing with lack of access to contraception and also because, under this rule, family members lose their access to contraception, too.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Popular vote loser Donald Trump continues to splinter the Republican party with support for him emerging as the key early issue in Republican primaries. It's not just Trump policies, it's Trump himself and he's making it personal, taking an active role in attacking incumbents who he feels are too critical of him.

Loyalty to Trump has quickly become the most potent issue for the Republican base, according to a dozen candidates and strategists immersed in 2018 races. It has already put Sens. Jeff Flake and Dean Heller under pressure in their states, sparked bickering between GOP candidates in two of Republicans’ top 2018 targets, Indiana and West Virginia, and sunk one candidate running for Alabama’s open Senate seat.

“In any state where Trump has an approval [rating] of 85 percent or better among GOP primary voters, it’s an effective weapon,” said Steven Law, president of Senate Leadership Fund, the Republican super PAC aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, while warning every state and every race is different. Ahead of the first round of voting in Alabama’s special Senate election this month, the PAC slammed Rep. Mo Brooks’ over his criticism of Trump in 2016.

Brooks went on to finish a distant third in Tuesday’s primary, a warning to candidates on both sides of the old divide between establishment Republicans and right-wing rebels. For the National Republican Senatorial Committee and establishment Republicans, it illustrates how similar attacks could damage Heller and Flake, who are also facing pressure from Democrats gunning for their seats.

The most immediate worry is in Arizona, where Flake’s constant stream of criticism of Trump in a new book, on cable news and, most recently, in a New York Times op-ed has hurt his standing among the president’s supporters. Trump, who is holding a rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, tweeted in support of Flake’s primary challenger last week. “Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate,” Trump wrote. “He's toxic!”

Please give $1 to each of our Senate funds so that Republican senators know there'll be a price to pay for their votes to repeal health care.

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Donald Trump, fresh off the golf course, gave a rare speech to the nation on Monday night to reveal his new plan for Afghanistan. In a half hour teleprompter plod, through text Trump gave every sign of never seeing before, he revealed no troop numbers, no dates, no goals, no … anything. He did say that the troops would be fighting “to win,” because Trump apparently believes that previous administrations told the troops that losing would be peachy. He also spent quite a bit of time saying, without really saying, that he was backing out of all the promises he made previously about pulling troops from the area.

“My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like to follow my instincts.” … “I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk of the Oval Office.”

What the person who nicely wrote this up for Trump really means is that everything he said before was BS without a hint of reason behind it. Oops sorry, America. The entire “strategy” offered up by Trump was that he would stop “nation building” and get down to “terrorist fighting.” Though beyond throwing out these terms he provided not a single detail of what this would mean.

Earlier, Trump had said he would leave Afghanistan to the generals, but the plan that they returned to him was clearly not something he liked.

President Trump was frustrated and fuming. Again and again, in the windowless Situation Room at the White House, he lashed out at his national security team over the Afghanistan war, and the paucity of appealing options gnawed at him.

Trump considered options, including firing the leadership and installing Erik Princes’ mercenary army solution. But in the end, Trump came around to … doing as he was told.


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Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities